An altercation occurred on Wednesday afternoon at the Mohali-Chandigarh border in Phase 3A among protesters calling for the release of Sikh convicts known as “Bandi Singhs” and Chandigarh Police. The protestors were on their way to the residential area of Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann in Chandigarh at the time of the altercation.
What exactly happened in Chandigarh?
The police erected barricades close to the border in order to thwart any attempts by the demonstrators to make their way towards the house of the CM. But when the demonstrators managed to attack their way through the concrete barriers, a clash broke out between the agitators and the police personnel. In an effort to disperse the demonstrators, the uniformed officers used water cannons and reverted back to cane-charge.
The mounted demonstrators included some individuals who attempted to remove the barricades. The police in Chandigarh stated that the demonstrators attacked them with swords and horses during the demonstration.
The group known as “Quami Insaaf Morcha,” which criticised the response taken by the police, was responsible for organising the demonstration.
The damaged that was caused
The Chandigarh Police stated that 23 of its staff were hurt in the event and were admitted to the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), which is located in Sector 32 of Chandigarh. They consist of ten officers from the Chandigarh Police Department, three volunteers from the home guard, and nine members of the Rapid Action Force (RAF).
There are also seven female police officers among those who have been hurt. Eleven police officers from the Mohali area were among those hurt during the attack, and all eleven of them were taken to the Phase 6 Civil Hospital for treatment.
The incident also caused damage to eight of the Chandigarh Police Department’s jeeps. A water cannon truck, a “vajra” (riot control vehicle), two police jeeps, a firefighting vehicle, and a few other vehicles were among them.
The DGP’s Statement
“We will identify the miscreants and take legal action as per evidence available,” said Praveer Ranjan, the Director General of Police (DGP) of Chandigarh.
A spokesperson for the morcha named Gurcharan Singh shared the following statement: “We had decided that a group of 31 individuals will go and visit the Punjab CM and deliver a memorandum. However, it is unacceptable that the police attacked the protestors in the manner that they did. This action taken by the police is unacceptable in our eyes. The officers attempted to disperse the demonstrators by using filthy water. They also attacked the demonstrators, causing many of them to get injuries.
According to the Director General of Police for the Chandigarh region, “The Quami Insaaf Morcha had set up its protest rally at the Mohali-Chandigarh boundary on January 7.” Around 300 agitators have been camped out outside the Mataur barrier for the past few days, and they have received support from a variety of organisations.
They stated in a statement that they would make themselves available for arrest if they were to be stopped while on their way to the domicile of the Chief Minister in Chandigarh. This statement was made three days ago. They were informed by the police, in accordance with their agenda, that Section 144 had been enforced in Chandigarh, and that the residence of the Chief Minister is located in a high security zone, where protests are not permitted. Despite this, at around one o’clock in the afternoon on Wednesday, at the roadblock in Sector 52 in Chandigarh, nearly one thousand protesters arrived.
After talking to Chandigarh Police, they physically lifted the barricades and sought to enter. Chandigarh Police again warned demonstrators not to disobey the law. Some of them fought the police and attacked our staff with weapons, sticks, and swords.
Water cannons stopped them. UT Police sought to calm demonstrators. Then another group of demonstrators, including horsemen, arrived. They attacked police officers with swords and weapons. The attack left the officers severely damaged and hospitalised. Protesters smashed police vehicles and barricades.
What did the protestors claim?
The DGP denied the protesters’ claims that policemen assaulted and attacked them, saying that the police sought to calm them down but were attacked with stones and firearms.
Legal action against the protesters
“Police did not provoke them. We were in close touch with the Punjab Police regarding the demonstration, and today’s events startled us. The Chandigarh Police DGP said, “We will take legal action against all those involved by identifying them based on evidence.”